Now, before you start feeling sorry for me, let me elaborate. It's not that I never have the opportunity. Yes, being a mom is - insert favourite cliche here** - but it doesn't account for my inability to decide what it is I want to do and follow through. I believe that it's actually a flaw in my internal wiring. At least I think I believe that, or maybe I just like to say that to relieve myself of accountability in the matter.
Let me give you an example. A weekend is coming up. I know that J will be taking E in the morning so that I can do whatever I want. Is that pressure or what? I immediately start fantasizing/brainstorming about all of the options. This eventually deteriorates into a mental checklist of all of the things I should be doing that have been put on the back burner (laundry, cleaning, organizing, childproofing, personal hygiene), and the realization that anything I want to do can hardly be enjoyed with all of these uncompleted tasks nipping at my heels.
So what happens? The same thing that used to happen the night before a final that I was not prepared for (and I have ample experience with this scenario). I shut down. I lay in bed and feel guilty about not a) doing anything productive and b) not doing what I want to be doing. Then I get up and waste time on the computer, and instead of getting off at my stop I just ride the guilt trip a little longer, feeling bad about not using my time wisely.
Also, I can't seem to separate what I want from what I think everyone else wants. If I do what I want and spend some alone time, J doesn't get what he wants because he wants to spend time together, and E doesn't get what she wants because she always wants her mama around. We don't get much time together as a family, so is it really fair to be cutting into that time if I'm not going to use it for something "worthy", like going to the gym or cleaning the toilet?
It's a losing battle and, just like me, it's getting old. To quote Mary J. Blige (because what good writer doesn't?): No More Drama. Today I'm tired. I have been watching the laundry pile up for days and I just don't want to do it. I have been working overtime with E because J has been studying/going out to celebrate/going to Atlantic City with the boys, and I want a break. So when Jeff got home from his trip (with flowers), I asked him to do my bidding for the next 24 hours as my Mother's Day present. I sent him out with the girl and the laundry and a grocery list. And not only did he oblige, but I believe his exact words were "I would love to do that for you." (This is a perfect example of when it is acceptable to lie to your spouse.) I'm using the time to blog, to eat chocolate, and maybe even do something productive. But I'm doing what I want. And that's it. Should I feel bad for dumping all of the responsibility on Jeff and sending him away?
No. Because the bottom line is that J wants me to be happy. And right now I'm happy. End of story.
**Let me help you: "a full-time job", "the hardest job in the world", "physically and emotionally exhausting"...